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Emacs: nXhtml

In response to the comments in Software Engineering: The Right Editor for the Right Job, I took a look at nXhtml for Emacs.

The scope of nXhtml is impressive. Take a look at the picture. This is a snippet of HTML / JavaScript that I was testing as a part of something else. I hit tab on every line to make it indent things. nXhtml isn't getting the indentation perfectly correct, nor is it getting the syntax highlighting completely correct (why is "beacon" in red?); however, this is worlds better than what comes with Aquamacs by default.

I think nXhtml is a promising project.

Next up, I'm going to check out Komodo Edit. It does make sense to me that since Emacs is written in Lisp, it would be one of the best editors for Lisp, whereas since Komodo Edit is based on XUL (aka Firefox), it would be one of the best editors for editing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Of course, I'll have to wait and see.


LeoB said…
jj: Can you please add a bug report this on

Please attach the file you tested with.
LeoB said…
... or just hold on a moment. I found some problems related to this in the new version of nXhtml. I will try to fix them later today.
jjinux said…
> ... or just hold on a moment. I found some problems related to this in the new version of nXhtml. I will try to fix them later today.

Ah, very good. Thanks!
LeoB said…
I have just uploaded a new version where I have fixed some problems. Please test this one instead. (Everything is not perfect, but ... ;-)
jjinux said…
Now I know why nXhtml failed the first time I tried to install it. I added the following to my preferences file:

(load "~/Library/Preferences/Aquamacs\ Emacs/nxhtml/autostart.el")

I got that path by copying and pasting from my shell. The "\" is inappropriate. Silly me.
LeoB said…
Small mistakes can make big differences ...
jjinux said…
Ok, I just updated my copy of nXhtml. The indentation is fixed, but the syntax highlighting still acts a little strange. I've created a bug:

LeoB said…
jj: I think the syntax highlighting now works ok even in Emacs 22 (unfortunately with the price that validation and completion does not work when you use a multiple major mode). Thanks for your cooperation.

Since I had some time over just fixed byte compilation of nXhtml. This makes it run noticeable faster (on my old pc at least).
jjinux said…
Thanks for the update and the quick fixes :)
LeoB said…
Don't thank me, give me some feedback ... ;-)

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